Rebecca, Who Slammed Doors for Fun and Perished Miserably

I haven’t had much time for blogging this week, but I was reminded of this poem by Hilaire Belloc this morning when it showed up in my son’s writing lesson. Many more like it can be found in the volume Cautionary Tales. Enjoy!

And can anyone tell me how to remove the automatic extra line break after I hit the Enter key?

A trick that everyone abhors
In Little Girls is slamming Doors.
A Wealthy Banker’s Little Daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
(By name Rebecca Offendort),
Was given to this Furious Sport.

She would deliberately go
And Slam the door like Billy-Ho!
To make her Uncle Jacob start.
She was not really bad at heart,
But only rather rude and wild:
She was an aggravating child . . .

It happened that a Marble Bust
Of Abraham was standing just
Above the Door this little Lamb
Had carefully prepared to Slam,
And Down it came! It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that.

Her funeral Sermon (which was long
And followed by a Sacred Song)
Mentioned her Virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her Vices too,
And showed the Dreadful End of One
Who goes and slams the door for Fun.

The children who were brought to hear
The awful Tale from far and near
Were much impressed, and inly swore
They never more would slam the Door.
–As often they had done before.

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About Dr. J

I am an Associate Professor and head of the Department of Humanities at Faulkner University. I am also Associate Editor of the Journal of Faith and the Academy.
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4 Responses to Rebecca, Who Slammed Doors for Fun and Perished Miserably

  1. Victoria says:

    Here is a wonderfully illustrated edition of ‘Matilda, Who Told Lies and Was Burned to Death’ which should be in every family’s library!

  2. Victoria writes : “Here is a wonderfully illustrated edition of ‘Matilda, Who Told Lies and Was Burned to Death’ which should be in every family’s library!”

    And in turn of course read to the little ones regularly.

    Although on the top of the reading pile should be A.A.Milne’s
    The Good Little Girl

    http://books.google.com/books?id=hFwKzq1x7sgC&pg=PT88&lpg=PT88&dq=why+should+I+want+to+be+bad+at+the+zoo+a+a+milne&source=bl&ots=aX1g01VFTT&sig=OEt2G4q_hggkauk-Dl8c8Pn6FUk&hl=en&ei=Idh0TsPKH4bfiAKnzomzAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

  3. John Law says:

    Hi Dr. J.

    I believe a “Shift-Enter” will single space your poem. An brief explanation is copied below, and can be found in more detail here: http://waxcreative.com/blog/2010/04/single-spacing-in-wordpress/ if interested:

    “In WordPress, the code is set so that when the Enter key is hit, it automatically inserts what is called a paragraph tag (or tag) in the underlying code of your post. Line spacing in WordPress is so deeply established to the point that and tags (single space) don’t even show up in the HTML view of the Edit post page.”

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